The Longquanyu Great Wall is about 20km north of the Ming Tombs, and was constructed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). The Longquanyu Great Wall is the beginning of a long, uninterrupted stretch of Great Wall that passes through Huanghuacheng, Jiankou, and Mutianyu.
Parts of the Great Wall at Longquanyu have been repaired, and the hike will also take us along unrepaired ‘wild’ sections, making this hike a great way to see both repaired and unrepaired Great Wall.
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We’ll begin the hike on a repaired section. On the wall here we’ll have long views of the mountains and valleys to the east, and looking west we’ll be able to see all the wall that we’ll be hiking on later.
The first repaired section is flat for the most part, but there are two very steep descents, including a steep dive down into a valley—not a lot of fun if you are not good with heights.
We follow the Great Wall up into the mountains on the other side of the valley, hiking on to the first of the unrepaired sections we’ll pass on the hike.
A highlight of this section is a special spot where the wall meets a cliff that forms a natural barrier, the steps of the wall leading up to a sheer cliff. It makes a good spot for a short break, but there’s not much room for sitting. We’ll offer the option to climb up for a look, and then backtrack a little to take a hillside detour, walking through chestnut orchards to get back to the Great Wall.
This next part of the hike follows the last little bit of unrestored ‘wild’ wall in the area. We’ll make a short, steep climb up on the wall, and then follow a path along a relatively flat section that is overgrown by trees and other foliage. After about a kilometre we’ll be back on to restored Great Wall. To get around another cliff we’ll follow a thin dirt trail down the hill, into the valley – a nice forested and leafy spot with a trickle of water running through it. On some of our hikes, we head down the valley, crossing into the Little West Lake park area. Today we’ll head up the valley, following the stream past a tiny duck and goose farm and a few curious looking buildings.
The valley is shaded, and often fills with ice over winter. There may still be some there already.
At the top of this valley is a trail that leads up to a pass on the ridge. The thirty-minute climb up to the ridge takes us through terraces and orchards. From the pass on the ridge, we head down a gravelly path, and end up a concrete road that joins the village below with the main road above. We walk up to the main road to finish the hike.
What to bring on this hike
- Lunch and snacks
- Warm clothes, gloves, and a hat
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)
Reasons you might not enjoy this hike
- The concrete road back up to the top is about 2km in length, and we’ll occasionally meet cars. It’s not the perfect way to finish the hike, but it’s the only way out of the valley that we’ve found so far.